Thursday, July 18, 2013

Concept of Time and beyond in the Indian System, from the Vedic Texts

"Time" is one of the several fascinating things in the Indian system. For most people India's contribution is limited to the "number system" and the "yOGa" (in its current distorted, western form), however there is so much more than India has to offer than just these. The greatest wealth that remain hugely unexplored from the Indian texts include Spirituality (or the consciousness studies), Science, Philosophy, and Mathematics. 

For the western eyes, the obsession with Tolstoy or Weber or Aristotle or Plato or Descartes or Epicurus or Locke has blinded them to the great works elsewhere. It has sometimes been deliberate and at others due to ignorance. They have explored Confucius to some extent but have largely ignored the Indian contribution. This appears like a deliberate attempt - at suppressing some of the most brilliant ideas ever. Even when the world was discussing about a flat earth, which was 5000 year old, Indian greats had presented a much more comprehensive picture of the time and origin of this universe. When the world was discussing the connection of body and mind, the Indian texts had gone beyond and explored the spiritual connection. Of the many things, I explore the concept of time in an extremely brief way in this post. 

For an Indian seer, time was beginning-less because they could fathom the idea of infinity and eternity. However, here is how the time has been perceived (as described in Bhagawata and other scriptures).

1) World (and thus the relative 'time') is created and destroyed time and again after a period of time, in a cyclic manner. That period is determined by the life span of Brahma. There are several "brahmA"s and thus several Universes. 

2) The lifespan of Brahma is 100 Brahmic or Cosmic years

3) 1 Brahmic year = 360 Brahmic Days

4) 1 Brahmic Day + Night = 28 manvantaras (14 days and 14 nights)

5) 1 Manvantara = 71 mahAyugaas

6) 1 mahAyuga = one cycle of 4 yugAs 

7) One cycle of yugas = krita + treta + dvaapara + kali 
     = 1, 728, 000 + 1, 296, 000 + 864, 000 + 432, 0000 Human years

Therefore ..... 

1 mahAyuga  =  4, 320, 000 human years
1 manvantara = 71 mahayugAs = 306,720,000 human years
1 brahmic day = 28 manvantaras = 8, 588, 160, 000 human years
1 brahmic year = 360 brahmic days = 3, 091, 737, 600, 000
1 life span of brahma = 100 brahmic years = 309, 173, 760, 000, 000

So, the life span of the current Universe is approximately 309 Trillion 173 Billion 760 Millions human years, out of which we have already spent a little more than 50 years, which is a little less than 154, 586, 880, 000, 000 years. So, we have a little more than 154, 586, 880, 000, 000 years remaining before the complete dissolution of this current creation. At this time even Brahma is recycled. 

Please note that the above numbers pertain just to the current cycle of creation and such cycles have happened infinitely in the past. The current scientific estimate of the life of our planet is around 4.54 billion years, and this is just a fraction of the whole creation. There are near infinite universes in the current creation and that itself is but a small fraction of the entire span. This is described as "pAdosya vishvA bhootAni | tripAdasyAmritam divi", i.e. this entire creation is merely a fraction and 2/3rd are in the spiritual realm, and beyond that is the Lord, who looms above all creation.

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